Cooking white rice should not be challenging. As long as you know the tips and tricks in the kitchen, you are sure to have an enticing bowl of fluffy rice. Get to know these 5 super simple tips on how to cook perfect white rice at home.
Debunking White Rice Mystery
Some people really find it challenging to cook white rice at home. Often, I hear my friends complain about their rice was too hard, the next thing was too mushy, and worst, burnt.
To be honest, I was the same. Until I have demystified the spell of cooking rice. 😛
Nope, there is no curse when it comes to cooking a perfect bowl of rice. And, no, you don’t need to be an Asian or of Asian descent to be a rice expert.
All you need is these 5 super simple tips on how to cook perfect white rice.
#5 Don’t Confuse your Grain Size to its Water Ratio
Well, I saw a lot of people following the general rule of 1:1 or a cup of water to a cup of rice. Although it may work most of the time, you will not achieve that ‘perfect’ rice criteria.
The first thing to note here is the mode of preparation. Are you going to cook rice in a rice cooker, or on a stovetop?
You see, there is a slight difference between the measurements of these two cooking methods.
Most rice cookers have included a measuring cup in the package. This cup is quite smaller than the standard one cup size.
But, here’s a general rule for the rice to water ratio:
- A cup of long grain white rice should have 1 and 3/4 cups of water
- 1 cup of short grain white rice must use 1 and 1/4 cup of water
What About the Knuckle Method?
Well, trying some awesome tricks would be cool and fun. Unless you already figured out how to do the knuckle method, then why not use it?
I read some posts that you can simply add the rice in whatever cooker you will use and pour water. Measure it with your index finger.
Your index finger should be on top of the rice and the water should reach the first line of your index. I honestly tried, but I got very soft rice, close to pudding texture. 😛
However, to be precise, you can stick to the above-given measurements to avoid an epic fail rice cooking!
#4 Rinsing And Washing White Rice Matters
Washing rice before cooking was, in fact, an ancient practice. However, there are no definite reasons as to why our ancestors were doing this method.
But, I found an interesting history that the Japanese used to keep the rice water and use for skin and hair treatment. Apart from this, we cannot deny that rice culture in Japan is very alive until today.
Today, we wash and rinse rice before cooking to remove starch, dust, and dirt, especially that most of our rice are packed and imported worldwide. Aside from removing harmful elements, washing and rinsing rice also make it soft when cooked.
Ideally, you can wash rice under running cold water. Fluff the rice with your fingers and mix thoroughly. You need to repeat this process until the water runs clear.
What about Soaking?
Soaking rice for about 30 minutes will also soften the grains and shorten the cooking time. However, if you intend to soak the rice, you need to adjust the water ratio. You can stick to the 1:1 rule in case you pre-soaked your grain.
#3 Buying the Freshest White Rice You Can Find
Buying and consuming rice that has been harvested and packed on the same year is the best grain to use to achieve perfection.
The next time you go to the grocery, look for rice packed and labeled on the same year.
Freshly harvested rice is soft and aromatic even when you use the plain or regular white rice only. I suggest that you only buy the exact amount you need for the given meal.
If you have rice grains left, be sure to store it properly using a tight-lid container and place it in the cabinet.
Be careful with bugs and insects trying to fit themselves in!
#2 Let Your Rice Rest Before Serving
Do you also notice the rice served at the restaurants? I usually stare at them for a few good seconds and make my judgments.
I notice that their rice is very soft, fluffy, and so enticing! I ask one of my chef friends and he said that the key to cooking a perfect bowl of white rice is letting it rest.
It may sound a little weird but hey, it does really matter. The science behind this is that the steam that the rice release will soften it more.
The best thing to do is, right after all the water is gone, reduce the heat to the lowest and let it sit for about 10 minutes. After the given time, you can turn off the heat and let it rest for another 5-10 minutes.
At this point, the steam will be the one to cook the rice perfectly! Another important step you shouldn’t miss is to fluff it with a fork or spatula while your rice is resting. This is to ensure that the steam will reach the bottom parts too.
#1 Add Extra Flavors
I don’t know about you but I find a bowl of rice already enticing! 😀 This is because you can add some flavor and bring life to your ordinary white rice.
Adding oil or butter glistens the grains. If you notice some white rice really sparkling from a distance, that my friends, is the secret!
Another option is to add salt and some of your favorite spices such as cardamom, cumin, saffron, and many more!
You can also check out this video from the BBC on how they cooked simple yet perfect white rice:
We just covered the 5 super simple tips on how to cook perfect white rice. I hope you learned and apply this the next time you are cooking rice at home. Come on, impress your family and friends!
Don’t get too intimidated with rice cooking. All you need is to apply these tricks I gave you and for sure, you will be the star of your next get-together.
Remember that from choosing the grain to using the right amount of water, down to rinsing, and resting rice are very important factors in achieving the perfect consistency.